Former Austin Site Park Plans
The City of Dunwoody is looking for public input to develop park plans for the former Austin Elementary School site on Roberts Drive.
Demolition of the former Austin Elementary School on Roberts Drive will create 12 acres of additional park space for the City of Dunwoody. Dunwoody Parks & Recreation gathered input from residents about what kind of park they would like to see using a survey, which closed on Nov. 6, 2020.
In 2016, the DeKalb County School District needed land to build a new elementary school to help address overcrowding in the Dunwoody cluster. School officials began negotiations with the City of Dunwoody, and both sides agreed to a land swap. The school district took land just south of Austin at Dunwoody Park, where Dunwoody Senior Baseball ran programs on two baseball fields. In exchange, the City took the Austin site and a portion of the Peachtree Charter Middle School property, where two new baseball fields were built. The City leased Austin back to the school district until the new Austin Elementary School was ready to open in January 2020.
The demolition of the former Austin Elementary School is an important next step in creating more park space in the City of Dunwoody. Though options for reuse and renovation of the existing buildings were explored, the buildings’ poor condition and required asbestos mitigation – as well as vandalism damages sustained since the school was closed in 2019 – proved both cost prohibitive and impractical. A demolition of the building and a re-imagine of the space into public space has been approved by Dunwoody’s City Council. Now the public’s input will play a critical role in planning the future of the site.
“What we'll have after demolition is a nice open green space that the community can use for a passive recreation use,” said Dunwoody Parks & Recreation Director Brent Walker. “We'll also maintain the existing playgrounds and trails that are on the property.”
A public input survey conducted in October 2020 explored a range of options from passive parks to programmed recreation to new construction. Some would require additional funding to support.
"With this many acres all in one location that's already open because of the school, it gives us a wide range of options," Walker explained. "The space could be used for athletic facilities. It has some nice wooded areas for passive use and natural surface trails. It could also be used for a future community center or indoor gymnasium."
What do you think?
Thank you for taking part in the former Austin site parks plan survey, which closed on Nov. 6, 2020.
Questions & Comments
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